Friday, May 27, 2022

Ariel Helwani Considers Opening MMA Hall Of Fame

Renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani thinks the legends of the sport need to be recognized and appreciated more and believes he could be the one to make that happen.

While the UFC Hall of Fame is a yearly event that seeks to respect the greats of the promotion, the glaring omission of a similar honor across the whole of mixed martial arts has undoubtedly led to many of MMA’s best who helped build it to where it is today, being forgotten and not shown the gratitude their dues deserve.

Helwani is seeking to change that.

During an episode of The MMA Hour, the 39-year-old, who has been covering mixed martial arts professionally since 2006, questioned the lack of respect shown to legends of the game, pointing to the absence of a HOF adjacent to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, which has shown appreciated to pugilist legends since 1990.

“Can we not show these people, who put this sport on the map, who built this sport, quite literally with their bare hands, can we not show them proper love and respect? Why is that so hard? Why does this sport refuse to do that? Why is there not an MMA hall of fame?” Helwani questioned. “Where is there not a proper place where we can go and look at the history of this sport and remember these people, who are, by most accounts, forgotten about… I’d like to see that changed.

“We do a pretty crappy job of not celebrating the legends of this sport,” continued Helwani. “Why can’t I do this? I feel like this will be my legacy in this sport. I’ll be the one to finally do this. There’s a boxing hall of fame, why isn’t there an MMA hall of fame?!”

Helwani’s comments came as a reaction to the death of wrestling legend Scott Hall, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 63. Prior to his death, Hall’s battle with drink and alcohol addiction was public.

Likening Hall’s troubles with those of MMA legends such as Mark Coleman, who was the very first UFC heavyweight champion and can often be seen at modern events, Helwani claimed the MMA community needs to start respecting its greats and supporting them while they’re still here.

Coincidentally, over the weekend, Helwani attended the WWE Hall of Fame and loved what he saw. Perhaps he could use the WWE’s model as inspiration for a future MMA Hall of Fame?

Helwani Shared The Same Sentiment in 2020

Helwani’s desire for an MMA hall of fame, which could see legends from outside the UFC like Fedor Emelianenko inducted and etched in the history of the sport, is nothing new. The Canadian media member previously called for it following the tragic passing of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in 2020.

Abdulmanap, the father of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, died after contracting COVID-19 near the height of the pandemic. The Russian coach was praised for his contributions to the sport, which included the development of 18 world champions.

Helwani noted on Twitter that it would have been great to have been been able to honor the Dagestani with a HOF induction.

“Obviously not of great importance at the moment, but it’s times like this I wish there was a real MMA Hall of Fame. Considering his contributions to the sport, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov would be a first-ballot HOF. It would be nice to have a proper place to honor legends like him.”

Do you agree with Ariel Helwani? Should there be an MMA hall of fame?

Related Articles
Related Articles